Aug 03, Proustitute rated it it was amazing Shelves: classics , five-stars , melville-house , british-irish-scottish-literature , bloomsbury , favorites , short-stories-and-novellas , read-in , Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name? Dec 29, Doug H rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. When I first read "The Dead" in college my young mind entirely missed its subtle, transcendent heart.
View all 4 comments. I might change the grade to 5 tomorrow.
What a story. The first part feels much different from the second, although I'm sure there are hidden things I didn't notice on my first reading. Everything is so subtle and beautiful, but pain is hidden behind it all. Oh, we're all so lonely and in search of something more. I need to reread it again soon and hopefully write a better review then because I'm not sure in what ways it will affect me when I know how it's gonna end.
Dec 29, Katia N rated it it was amazing. But it is so perfect, that by the time i reach the second paragraph, i hit the wall. My thoughts stick into each other and become an undistguishable whirlpool of awe. So, you do not need to continue reading what follows; just read the story, and read it now when something is ending but something else is barely beginning just yet… Christmas and New Year, this time..
It starts with something very relatable, very traditional - two old ladies, the aunts of Gabriel, the main character, are hosting a Christmas party. They has been doing it for the last 30 years or so. The scenario is familiar, all usual faces of family and friends are there; everyone has got a predictable role naturally evolved during those years. Joyce describes the scene with absolutely delicious prose. A few words by him suffice when someone else would need five pages of the text. His language possess this musicality, totally unique to him. And Joyce keeps this chair as well very subtly for now.
Gabriel looks at the portrait of his mum who died sometimes ago. He also makes a joke about his grandad. But the story really goes into the highest gear in the last few pages. By sheer coincidence, Gabriel finds out something tragic and beautiful which existed in the life of his wife a way before him. This revelation totally shocks him; he is in awe with the magnitude of her experience and feels diminished by it. It also derailes his train of thoughts towards the finiteness of life, towards the transience of our existence, especially of the older people we love.
When we are young, we think they will be there forever. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself which these dead had one time reared and lived in was dissolving and dwindling.
The light moves slowly beaming on a group for a time being and then moving towards another one, leaving everyone else there in shadow, never to come back… And there is another layer there for me. He looks at his wife and realises that she now is not the same person who has had that experience. This young girl is a shade as well. Our old selfs are shades of us, the ones which do not exist any longer here, but the ones we still remember and miss and try to reach sometimes… And a familiar song, or drops of rain, or silent sound of snow could call upon and bring the one of these shades back for a fraction of a moment, and make it real again… Happy New Year!
Dec 30, Selena rated it it was amazing Shelves: , thebest. Like the tender fire of stars moments of their life together, that no one knew of or would ever know of, broke upon and illumined his memory. He longed to recall to her those moments, to make her forget the years of their dull existence together and remember only their moments of ecstasy.
The Dead is the last story in James Joyce's collection entitled the Dubliners. This story is a modern parable of the rivalry between the living and the dead. I enjoyed the whole collection. Enjoy and Be Blessed.
What's Your Favorite Story in Joyce's "Dubliners"?
May 25, Kenchiin rated it liked it. I liked it, but it's a little bit too intellectual. Apr 13, Jan Rice rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction. Originally reviewed April 13, At first we see mainly the social persona of the main character, Gabriel. Then even that latter narrative takes a hit. All those shades of experience occur through the agency of other people, or, rather, through the story he experiences or lives in Originally reviewed April 13, At first we see mainly the social persona of the main character, Gabriel.
All those shades of experience occur through the agency of other people, or, rather, through the story he experiences or lives in response to the impact of those other actors. When the housemaid is bitter, he blames himself for not having taken the right approach, even though their interaction was incidental. For a while, he feels cursed, couldn't we say? He tries to resist such a feeling in the face of the old acquaintance who attempts to push him into a corner politically.
By what he has through his wife he literally feels blessed. Near the beginning when he says they were late because his wife took three hours to get ready, I at first thought he was getting in a jab at her. My husband was reading that part out loud, and if he had said such a thing, I wouldn't have heard it as affectionate. But, for Gabriel, it was affectionate--an early indicator of his love and regard.
Through his main character, the author shows us how fragile is that sense of blessed belonging. It ebbs and flows for Gabriel, culminating in a final surprise that catapults him for a while at least into a view that's outside himself. In Joyce had trouble getting this book published. It was originally included in the book Dubliners. Were characters allowed to acknowledge sexual feelings at that point? Apparently not in Dublin. The author put a lot of himself into Gabriel. I happened to read an article about him in The New Yorker last summer Here's the link which tonight seems to allow the entire article to be read; I could swear last night it was only the abstract.
Before this, as far as books by James Joyce, I had only read Ulysses , and that was back in I remember because I had at long last graduated that spring and would not start graduate school until the fall.
I persisted and read it that summer, often down by the dock at Piedmont Park's Lake Clara Meer, across from my hippie apartment at Piedmont Ave. Yes, I can remember that street number from among all the other forgotten ones. I can't say I got a great deal out of Ulysses. The Dead is very different--a long short story, or a short novella, succinct, no stream-of-consciousness.
Glad to have read it for an upcoming book discussion. Jan gets upended by a divergent view, Apr. If I'd seen it that way from the first I would have found it depressing. He is thoughtless and locked inside himself, but I don't see him as this pitiful specimen under the microscope. Otherwise, where's the hope for any of us!?! I thought he experienced caring and pettiness all mixed up together and that he did feel love.
That's one of the reasons he could have another view at the end. And I'm still not convinced that the white snow "general all over Ireland" is reducible to peace and grace. Snow is cold, and we're talking about death here!
The Dead (short story)
There is some earlier reference to grace, though -- possible foreshadowing -- "grace notes" and "the Three Graces. Jan gets her feet back on the ground, Apr. So there! I still think he experienced love first before lust. He did love her. Elysian Fields as the final resting place of the heroic. And to the west. Apparently Joyce himself used the term "epiphany" for the ending. That would have to be in the sense of "manifestation," "sudden, striking realization. Dec 15, Lemar rated it it was amazing.
I was afraid of James Joyce.
The Dead (short story) - Wikipedia
His appeal is in capturing the turbulent ebb and flow of emotions we feel just being alive, part of a family, part of a society. The Dead is one of the short stories that make up the Dubliners. His gaze is gentle and tolerant, making the stories warmly resonant, not the forbidding, rigorous free solo climb I was expecting and avoiding. By for the most part avoiding scenes of great moment, he is able to evoke the time that comprises the Like Ben Lerner, he lingers in this time, honoring and shaping the seemingly mundane to produce a lasting, powerful, poetic effect.
So Joyce is a friend now. Next to Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener: a Story of Wall Street , this book is my favourite classic short story, not just because of its Irish atmosphere but also because of its brilliant characters. That James Joyce and his final paragraphs.
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I have to hand it to the man, he sure knew how to end a book. It's certainly one of those passages, like Mrs.